August 30, 2005

Regarding the "film clip" of from Crawford: what kind of ship is she on? It looks like a destroyer from the frequency of the roll. :)

Posted by StephenB at August 31, 2005 8:34 AM

That list has brought my brain to a screeching and complete halt.

*drools quietly on shirt*

Posted by Claire at August 31, 2005 9:57 AM

Your comments on the relationship between pacifism and totalitarinism misses the mark.

One of the main reasons pacifists (i.e., those who for religious or conscientious reasons decline to participate in war in any form) oppose war is that war is incompatable with democracy. Every war has increased the power of the state, eroded the liberty of the people, and numbed the conscience of the public. On each side.

Even so-called just wars, defensive wars have this effect -- witness the internment of law-abiding Japanese citizens in the US in WWII and the spying and covert spying on and disruption of law-abiding anti-war groups during Vietnam. Wars of aggression -- such as the war on Iraq -- require an even more tightly controlled society to be successfully waged.

Not every war results in totalitarinism, and not every civil liberty abridged during war is permanently denied. But the requirements of war making, especially by mega-states, absolutely demand greater and greater control by the centralized war-making authority.

Yes, a pacifist during the 1930s and '40s may be viewed as having "objectively" aided the spread of fascism by not having resisted by force of arms. But the war didn't "end" fascism or totalitarinism; it only temporarily diverted from some countries to others.

Ultimately, the only solution to the twin problems of both war and totalitarianism is peace, which requires a radical spiritual transformation of humanity. The same God who gave the German Mennonite and Quaker pacifists the courage to endure imprisonment and death in Hitler's prisons and concentration camps, and the American civil rights workers in the 1960s, is the only one who can accomplish this kind of spiritual transformation. And He has never done so by force of arms.

Posted by Paul L at August 31, 2005 1:35 PM

If your history were accurate, your argument might be compelling.

In short, wars tend to be good for human freedom and liberty if they are won by the forces of human freedom and liberty.

To cite just 3 examples of wars being beneficial to human liberty and freedom:

1) The Revolutionary War in the United States. Result, the United States, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, among millions of others.

2) The Civil War. Slavery in the United States, kaput. Nuf said.

3) The 2nd World War. Has it escaped your notice that the greatest expansion of social and personal liberty and freedom ever known has taken place since 1945?

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 31, 2005 3:31 PM

I agree that humanity is in need of a radical spiritual transformation, but here's the headline "It Ain't Gonna Happen Anytime Soon." So, while waiting for Utopia to spontaneously arise, we should probably keep knocking off totalitarian regimes and religions as soon as they constitute a threat to freedom and liberty. By any means necessary.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 31, 2005 3:33 PM

War is incompatible with Democracy? That would be news to Leonidas and the Spartans. What grills me about he militant pacifists, (pacifism at all costs), is their insistance at imposing their viewpoint on all others. I don't think it is a choice which one person can make for another, as the person choosing pacifism may be choosing death for themselves. Jesus only said, "Follow me," and did not insist the Disciples follow Him to Golgotha. Ridding the just, (that would be us, The USA, aka, the good guys) of our military forces will not, through some immediate magic, bring about the Second Coming in all hearts. Recall the scene from Ben Hur. Following the great words of Balthazar, the Arab says to Judah Ben-Hur, "Balthazar is a good man. Until all men are like him, we must keep our swords bright." If you wish to put away your sword, fine. I'll be applying polish to mine.

Posted by Kerry at August 31, 2005 4:38 PM